One of Pac-12's few female head coaches had success against Huskies
|Liz Kritza was fired today after 7 seasons as Colorado head coach|
-Volleyblog Seattle file photo by Leslie Hamann
It was a tough day for Colorado volleyball fans.
First, the Buffs had to watch as Arizona State was blown out of the NCAA tournament first round by Florida State. Colorado was snubbed Sunday by the NCAA selection committee, despite finishing 3 games ahead of the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 standings. Most observers believe CU would have put up a better fight against the Seminoles than ASU could muster.
Soon after ASU's loss, Colorado athletic director Rick George met with the Buffaloes volleyball team to report that he had fired head coach Liz Kritza. In a CU press release, George said "a determination has been made that we need to go in a different direction from a leadership standpoint." He cited "differences that have caused us to make a change in the program at this time.”
In seven seasons, Kritza was 90-125 in Boulder. If the Buffs had not been slighted, this would have been their third straight year in the NCAA Tournament. This season, Colorado was 19-14, including wins against Stanford, Florida State, and Oregon. Last season, the Buffs were 20-13 last season, a high-water mark after Colorado finished 1-21 in its first season as part of the Pac-12.
In both 2013 and 2014, Colorado defeated Washington in Boulder. In each season, it was one of only two regular-season losses for the Huskies. Thanks to the Pac-12's unfortunate unbalanced schedule, UW did not travel to Boulder this season.
Kritza's departure leaves just 2 women head coaches in the Pac-12: Washington State's Jen Greeny and Utah's Beth Launiere. A man, associate head coach J.T Wenger, will serve as interim coach while Colorado forms a search committee to replace Kritza.
Kritza is a thoughtful commentator on the challenges facing women in the college volleyball profession. We've always found her to be a straight talker on a host of issues. She should be in demand whenever positions in top programs become available.